Saturday, March 6, 2021

Saturday Devotion: A Season of God’s Favour (Esther 2:1-11)

In 6th century BC, around the time that the story of Esther unfolded, the Babylonians besieged Jerusalem and destroyed King Solomon’s temple, a significant marker of Jewish culture. It was a devastating loss and thousands of Jews across the empire were forced into exile and captivity, known as the ‘Babylonian Exile.’

Wrapped up in this greater cultural conflict was another tension, the Persian king, King Ahasuerus of Shushan had harshly dethroned, divorced and ousted Vashti, all on the basis of her refusing to submit to the king and appear before him when summoned. So, this was the cultural climate that Esther faced when she stepped into the palace, and it was not easy as a woman, let alone as a Jewish woman. Without God’s favor, she very well may not have succeeded.

Mordecai, the spiritual Cheer leader

Reading this passage in the book of Esther, I began thinking about how, in Esther’s story, Mordecai played an important role in the setting up of the circumstances for her journey. Pre-ordained by God, Mordecai was called to raise this orphaned girl (Verse 7), and played such a tremendous role to point her back to her purpose. Long before Mordecai’s own lifetime, a descendant of the Benjamite line, Mordecai’s life had been marked for the purpose of raising up and encouraging our heroine. He was ‘the certain Jew’, not just any Jew, who was called to encourage Esther to protect her identity and watch over her as she sought favor with the king, making her way to the throne (Verse 11). He was willing to take the risk.

Perhaps you have even been called to be this person for someone else in your world. Mordecai was an insignificant Jew but he played a significant role in the life of Esther and in the lives of the Jews, so people could see God’s favour. God delights to pour His favour on obedient risk takers. Sometimes we just need to put away selfishness and grow in a desire to build others up. Be someone’s cheerleader today. (Hebrews 3:13). Ask God to bring someone to mind that you should reach out to, especially this season of lent, as we meditate on the sacrificial love demonstrated on the cross.

God’s favour

Hegai was the king’s eunuch (Esther 2:3), a person entrusted with the oversight of the king’s harem.  Now the young woman (Esther) pleased him (Hegai), and she obtained his favor; so, he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem. (Verse 8)

Hard as it may seem to believe, God also has favor over our lives in our present age, today. God is able to position us in places of favour, allow us to have favour with individuals and honour us for things we have not worked for. This is the favour of God. Not like the world who tries to manipulate and negotiate favour with others. This is supernatural favour! God’s favour chases all oppositions.

God wants to place people in our lives that will champion our cause and call us to good positions. Psalm 5:12 says, “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield” If you would like to open the door to the favor and grace of God, begin to find out what He says in His Word. Discover the countless ways He desires to bless you. Believe Him. This a season of God’s favour, declare it!

Suggested prayer

Lord, I choose to be attentive to your voice. May I be alert to your Spirit’s guiding, to know whom I should reach out to. Help me to always heed the gentle promptings of the Spirit within my heart, so that I may not miss an opportunity to minister to others in times of need. I do thank You that You have promised the sufficiency of your wonderful grace and what a comfort it is to rest in Your favour. Thank you, Lord. Increase my faith and let me put my trust in You. In Jesus name, Amen.